Since I began writing for The Holborn, I have spent countless hours researching independent purveyors of style, searching for those whose emphasis on individuality and quality are reflected in their practices, and shine out through the quality of their work. From I’ve seen so far it does seem to me that there is something of a gender imbalance when it comes to affordable, quality clothing, and a lack of representation for women when it comes to a range contemporary heritage styles.
Perhaps there is a question to be asked as to whether such quality is valued, or even desired in womenswear, and its customers? However from conversations I’ve had with manufacturers, buyers and customers alike this isn’t the case. It seems more that larger brands failing to meet with what is actually very real demand for an increase in quality, and to feature brands with a credible story within womenswear.
Gitta Plotnicki is one such person who is striving to change that. Feeling that her own personal style was not being represented on the shelves, Gitta has taken it upon herself to design, create and launch her own brand (Also called Gitta Plotnicki) through which she is be able to communicate her own tastes, styles and sensibilities.
Currently doing the rounds at the Capsule trade show in New York and Bread & Butter in her native Berlin, Gitta is showcasing her designs and spreading the word, seeking to get her pieces into stores worldwide. Such as it was, we decided to catch up with Gitta and find out a little more about this exciting new brand.
Can you tell us a little bit about the idea behind Gitta Plotnicki?
I love the ‘rugged’ style which can be found in men’s clothing. I enjoy reading magazines like ‘Free & Easy’, ‘Men’s file’ and ‘Heritage Post’ with all the great clothing & accessories presented in there. But most of all, I really like the idea of buying something very valuable, that won’t just last for one season: either in terms of quality or in terms of look. I also enjoy a lot the vintage, authentic look with its heritage twist. Because I couldn’t find it for women, I decided then to make things like this for women.
What would you say are the characteristics of your latest collection?
The characteristics in general for my collection, is that everything is manufactured in Germany. Also I set great score in high quality production.
The fabrics I use are also very special: most of them come from Japan, from old shuttle looms. Mostly they have red selvage or are even are indigo-dyed. A jacket, a pant and a skirt in navy blue is made of lovely fabric which is 39.3%wool, 32.7% linen and 27.4% cotton. Although it has a ‘classic’ look, it feels very casual.
In my latest collection I have a fabric with little woven polka-dots, which is very special. Also I have merino knitwear (this is however produced in Italy, in the very good family-run company GRP). Afterwards it is hand dip-dyed in natural indigo in a little workshop in Germany. Also I have again a range of shirts which are made in collaboration with Merz b. Schwanen on the Swabian Alps, which are produced on original authentic circular knitting machines. Slight irregularities are one of the main characteristics of this fabric.
Like I already mentioned, the more ‘Classy’ styles are manufactured in a very casual style without using too much inlets. Also hand-diped indigo shirts and the woolen styles play an important role. But also I have silk scarves which are made in a very traditional way: the Blueprint technique. It was invented in the 18th century and it is all made by hand.
What are the advantages to having your pieces made in Germany?
One of the main advantages is that there are not so many long distances between productions: you can go there more often, to check if everything is going well. Also you have the chance to work much more detail-oriented way. Also I like the idea of supporting German companies, who really have to struggle in times of less-loan-cost productions in foreign countries. Not that I think, that those companies and the people who work there don’t also deserve a good-running company. But companies here also have to struggle and they do really very good work.
What inspires you?
Being together with people who kind of ‘think’ the same way inspires me a lot. I love the Bread & Butter fair: especially the L.O.C.K. area and the fire-department, because so many people with the same state of mind come there and I have so many chances to talk to them, take part of there way of living and thinking, hear their opinions. Also I like traveling a lot: last year we went to San Francisco, Los Angeles and twice to NYC. It was absolutely amazing, what was going on there: so many very good stores ( like Unionmade in SF, Mr. Freedom in LA, American Rag in LA), W.H. Carter, Freemans Sporting Club in NYC and much more… Also I really liked the restaurants and bars: especially ‘La maison premiere‘ in NYC, Paulie Gee Pizza or ISA, ..all located in Brooklyn…oh Brooklyn is at the moment is my most inspiring place. So many creative people with so good concepts: really amazing!
What are your hopes for the future of Gitta Plotnicki?
I hope, that more and more women will find there way to the rugged style and will also enjoy wearing ‘smart women’s wear’ as much as I do.
(Our thanks to Gitta for taking time in her busy schedule to talk to us. If you’re interested in knowing more about the brand, do take the time to check out Gitta’s website and the Gitta Plotnicki blog).